Fiat dusts off another classic
Along came a spider
There is a growing trend among car manufacturers of plundering their back catalogue for inspiration, and it has to be said, with some success. The Mini (which is now anything but) and the Fiat 500 (a somewhat obese version of the original) are two good examples that come to mind. Of course not every manufacturer has that luxury to fall back on and you pray that some won’t be tempted. But flushed with the success of the aforementioned Cinquecento, Fiat have felt emboldened to resurrect another of their classics. Enter the new Fiat 124 Spider.
Based to large extent on the underpinnings of that other perennial classic, the Mazda MX5, Fiat have added and undeniable Italian flavour to the restyling and very pretty it is too. For a while it seemed that Alfa would use the Mazda as the basis for revising their own spider, but it seems that Fiat got the nod for the 124.
Upfront, the nod to the original is plain to see with the distinctive horizontal grill,. Round the back its DNA is also on show in the shapely rear (it is Italian after all!).
Under the bonnet, Fiat have looked elsewhere in their stable for an alternative power plant to the the Mazda engine and have plumped for the unit that normally nestles under the bonnet of their pocket rocket, the Fiat Abarth. The 1.4-litre turbocharged MultiAir petrol engine should make the Spider more spritely than the equivalent Mazda, and of course will pave the way for a go faster Abarth variant in the not too distant future.
In our opinion there is a distinct dearth of good looking sports cars at the moment, but maybe the successful return of the Fiat will inspire some other competitors to have a look at what’s lurking in the back of their garages (check out our resurrection shuffle article).
Meanwhile we look forward to return of this bella macchina next year.